Updates from the office – Spring Equinox 23

Mar 2, 2023

10th Anniversary of FoWO

Federation of WWOOF Organisations

WWOOF FoWo logo

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary since the founding of the Federation of WWOOF Organisations (FoWO)!

In 2013 FoWO was created to act as a democratic organisation for national WWOOF groups to cooperate globally. FoWO’s mission is to unite, promote, protect and support the WWOOF movement around the world. After 10 years of fruitful cooperation between national organisations, the WWOOF movement is now more united than ever before. National organisations have been sharing ideas and resources to promote the founding core values that bond this network, while making sure to preserve the precious local diversities. 

Two women harvesting cucumbers in Turkey

There is no better example of this than the Common WWOOF platform. With a unified database and a universal profile accross countries, members of our community will be able to interact with each other internationally. Currently 18 national WWOOF organisations are on the Common WWOOF Platform, plus nearly 100 other countries represented by WWOOF Independents, and we expect to have everybody onboard by summer 2023!

Today the WWOOF program can be found in 130 countries around the world – and continues to grow. Looking forward, thanks to the passionate people that animate this international cooperative effort, the main goal is to further unify the WWOOF network by supporting a number of projects that are designed to enhance the sense of community and create new ways for WWOOF members to interact.

To find out more about FoWO, visit wwoof.net.

Website changes

Now that most FoWO (Federation of WWOOF organisations) countries have migrated to and are using the new platform, we have been working behind the scenes, creating and implementing all the changes and improvements that our members have given feedback on. Creating new features for all countries that share our platform is a big undertaking as we now also have to take into consideration legal and operational implications for each and every nation.

As you have probably noticed there has been a change on your profile already, with a new look for your account settings. This is now the first step completed of a five step plan to reintroduce the ‘Find a WWOOFer’ feature. We know there is a big sense of loss around this function and are working really hard to get it back up and running as soon as we possibly can.

Other changes you may have noticed have been:

  • increasing the characters in Visit Requests from 5k to 10k
  • adding cheesemaking to host profiles
  • increasing the host photos to 3 mandatary photos instead of 1, plus many other small additions.

We are continually improving the system, so keep an eye on the notification bell on your account to make sure you’re up to date.

Sponsorships & Visa help

We have noticed an upward trend of WWOOFers asking hosts for help with sponsorship or assistance with visa applications. We’d like to remind hosts not to take this on and if asked, to point WWOOFers directly to the Visiting the UK page. 

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